Barclays customers can open open a travel wallet in app from summer 2019

Barclays offers holiday makers the chance to cash in their souvenir slip-ups at a one-day swap shop run by Gemma Collins

25 July 2019 , 09:00
  • UK travellers spend £768m on unused souvenirs
  • 1 in 4 Brits have bought souvenirs to use up foreign currency at the end of a holiday
  • A set of teeth, a bust of Napoleon and an indoor fountain are some of the strangest items you are likely to find gathering dust at the back of a cupboard
  • Barclays will be launching Travel Wallet later this summer so you can exchange money straight into euros or US dollars as and when you need it in your app and avoid the left over currency conundrum

Shot glasses and slogan t-shirts are just some of the souvenirs Brits admit to splashing their surplus holiday cash on at the end of a holiday, according to a study carried out by Barclays to mark the upcoming launch of new app feature Travel Wallet.

UK travellers waste a massive £768,542,240 a year on souvenirs on the last day of their trip, with nearly a quarter (23 per cent) admitting to buying these souvenirs simply to use up their remaining currency.

Furthermore, 1 in 4 (24 per cent) believe converting money back into sterling is too much hassle and a third (27 per cent) don’t see the point of changing back their spare cash at all, leaving Brits with an average £87 worth of leftover foreign currency at home.

Despite such a huge amount being spent on souvenirs every year, 63 per cent admit they never use the holiday mementoes they purchased once they return home to Blighty.

Barclays wants to make sure not a penny or cent more of hard-saved holiday spending money is lost to unwanted knick-knacks and this summer will be launching Travel Wallet, a new feature in its app to help customers stay on top of their spending when they’re overseas.

Travel Wallet allows travellers to exchange money from their current account into euros or US dollars in a matter of taps and spend abroad with their existing debit card, so customers can sit back and relax when it comes to their travel money.

To celebrate the upcoming launch, Barclays is giving holiday makers the chance to turn back the clock on their past souvenir splurges and will be holding a souvenir swap shop on Saturday 27th July in London.

Members of the public can bring their souvenirs to be valued by seasoned traveller Gemma Collins who will then offer to reimburse them in exchange for the item. Regretful souvenir shoppers can book slots here.

Gemma Collins, Seasoned Traveller said: “I’m always bringing back ridiculous items from holiday that seemed like a good idea at the time. I probably have enough souvenirs from Marbella to open a museum in a box somewhere - I just don’t like to think about how much they’ve all cost me over the years.”

Gillean Dooney, Head of Current Accounts and Travel Money said: “The build up to a trip abroad is stressful enough without worrying about finding the time to get currency, let alone knowing how much you need to take out.

“Travel Wallet means you can strike this consideration off your holiday list and simply exchange what you need, when you need it into either euros or US dollars keeping just as much control over your money when you’re abroad as you would at home.”

The feature will automatically appear in customers’ Barclays app later this summer. To use the feature, customers simply need to open their Barclays app, go to the ‘Cards’ section under ‘Quick Links’ and tap ‘Create Travel Wallet’, select whether they want a euro or a US dollar Wallet.

They can then securely exchange money, as and when they need it, from their current account into their selected currency and spend as normal with their Barclays debit card in the local currency without being charged extra fees for card transactions.

Additionally, Barclays will not charge any additional fees for using ATMs overseas or limit the number of ATM withdrawals when customers withdraw cash from their Travel Wallet.

Top 3 weirdest holiday souvenirs

  1. A bust of Napoleon
  2. A set of teeth
  3. An indoor fountain

Top 10 holiday souvenirs

  1. Fridge magnets (50 per cent)
  2. Key rings (46 per cent)
  3. Sweets (37 per cent)
  4. Tea towels (30 per cent)
  5. Ornaments (30 per cent)
  6. Cuddly toys (24 per cent)
  7. Sunglasses (23 per cent)
  8. Cheap jewellery (22 per cent)
  9. Slogan t-shirts (22 per cent)
  10. Shot glasses (17 per cent)

Notes on research:

Research carried out by Ginger Comms on behalf of Barclays. Data based on a survey of 2,000 UK respondents in June 2019.

£768,542,240 calculation:

  • 22% of survey respondents agreed they are most likely to spend their left over holiday cash (avg £76 per person)
  • 22% of 47,042,000 total holiday visits taken by Brits in 2018, as per ONS travel estimates equals 10,349,240
  • 10,349,240 multiplied by £76 = £768,542,240

Full ONS report available here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/datasets/ukresidentsvisitsabroad

About Travel Wallet

  • Travel Wallet will be rolled out to customers who use the Barclays app and have a Barclays sterling current account this summer.
  • Travel Wallet is a new feature within the Barclays app where customers can buy, store and spend euros and US dollars with their existing debit card.
  • Customers do not need to pre-register for Travel Wallet. It will appear automatically in their app and they can then choose if they want to set up a travel wallet.
  • Customers will be able to see exactly how many euros or US dollars they will receive in-app before they make a conversion.
  • Barclays will not limit the number of ATM withdrawals customers can make or charge any fees for these withdrawals
  • There are no fees for Travel Wallet card transactions or converting remaining currency back into GBP after a trip.
  • Travel Wallet currently supports euros and dollars with more currencies to be added over time.

How to open a Travel Wallet

Customers can open a Travel Wallet instantly in a few quick taps. They simply need to go into the Barclays app, go to the ‘Cards’ section and select ‘Open Travel Wallet’, choosing whether they want a euro or a US dollar Wallet. They can then securely move money as and when they need it from their current account into their selected currency

  • At the point they select how much they want to transfer, they will be shown the current exchange rate and how many euros or US dollars they will get.
  • After setting up a Travel Wallet, customers can make payments in local currency with their existing debit card. When making a purchase, the payment terminal may offer customers the choice to pay in pounds sterling or local currency. If given a choice, customers should select the local currency on the payment terminal to pay directly from their Travel Wallet and avoid fees.
  • Any balance remaining at the end of a trip can be either be left in Travel Wallet ready for the next holiday or converted back into pounds (GBP) for free.
  • Travel Wallet currently supports euros and US dollars with more currencies to be added over time.